VariCAD is 3D/2D CAD system primarily intended for mechanical
engineering design. In addition to powerful tools for 3D modeling and 2D
drafting and dimensioning, the CAD system provides libraries of
standard mechanical parts (ANSI, DIN), calculations of standard
mechanical components, and tools for working with bills of materials
(BOM) and blocks. The comprehensive CAD software enables designers to
quickly create, evaluate, and modify their models. VariCAD’s high
performance, powerful features, and simple and quick user interface make
VariCAD the best value in the CAD market. The software is sold as one
"fully loaded" package, with all features and functions, for one very
affordable price. VariCAD delivers an excellent performance-to-price
ratio, making it one of the smartest choices on the market today.
User Interface and System Environment
VariCAD’s Graphical User Interface (GUI) has been designed to allow
quick and intuitive 3D/2D orientation. We carefully tailored and tuned
the GUI to reflect the thought process of a designer, so that ideas can
be captured and communicated with a minimal number of steps. All
commands were created with a focus on ease of use. An intelligent
cursor, numerous detection and selection modes, 2D construction lines,
and the orthogonal grid are just some of the tools that make working
with VariCAD so easy.
You can start by creating a 3D model and then use it to automatically
create drawings files, or you can draw only in 2D. Designing in 3D is
generally more "natural," in that it closely represents actual parts and
assemblies. The 3D approach is usually more intuitive than 2D drafting.
Models created in 3D are easily converted into conventional 2D
VariCAD provides a library of basic 3D solids (prism, cylinder, cone,
etc.), which are easily modified by editing the original profile or
parameters. Solids can also easily be created by profile rotation,
extrusion, or lofting. More complex tools include rotation blending
between two profiles, lofting between a circle and rectangle, and
creation of helical surfaces.
Solids can be added or subtracted, thus forming Boolean trees
representing real mechanical parts. Boolean operations have options for
automatic trimming, or automatic removal of subtracted volumes.
Predefined operations like hole drilling, face milling, groove milling
and edge beveling/filleting are also available. Boolean trees are very
easy to edit.
3D Tools – Assemblies, Groups, Parts etc.
VariCAD also provides tools for assembly support. If the link between
a part and assembly is defined, any changes made to the part file are
reflected in the assembly file and vice-versa. Linked copies can also be
defined. In this case, editing of one object causes all its linked
copies to be updated. Solid groups can be defined as well, making
selection and visibility changes simple for multiple objects.
Crash Tests (Interferences)
One excellent feature of 3D modeling is component interference
checking. VariCAD can check 3D assemblies for possible collisions
(overlapping volume) between components.
VariCAD can calculate 2D section area, surface area, volume, mass,
center of gravity, and moment of gyration. A library of mechanical
calculations is also included, for standard parts used every day by
mechanical designers. These mechanical parts include tension and
compression springs, pre-stressed bolted connections, pins and parallel
keys, grooved shafts, bearings, beams under combined stress (bending and
torsion), spur and bevel gearing geometry, and belt drives.
Surface Development (Sheet Metal Unbending)
VariCAD can also create developed (flattened) surfaces of 3D solids.
The XY coordinates of the developed surfaces can be saved to a text file
for further processing. You can input bending coefficients in order to
customize your calculations.
Mechanical Part and Symbol Libraries
VariCAD contains libraries of standard mechanical parts (ANSI, DIN),
such as bolts, nuts, pins, plugs, cotters, gaskets, bearings, rolled and
drawn shapes, and hydraulic, pneumatic, and electronic symbols. You can
add items to these libraries or modify existing parts – all 2D and most
3D dimensions can be edited.
Non-graphical information can also be assigned to parts, such as type
of material or supplier. This information is incorporated into an
assembly and can be used for material requisitions, bills of materials
(BOM), title blocks, or other purposes.
3D – 2D Export
3D models are easily converted into 2D drawings to produce
conventional drafting documentation. You can create 2D views of one or
more selected solids by defining the views in 3D. In addition, you can
also export specified sections. VariCAD supports updates of a 2D drawing
after changes in 3D.
2D Drawing and Editing
Drawing functions are geared toward easy use in engineering. Some
handy features of 2D drawing include: an intelligent cursor that
automatically detects objects and snap points, numerous snap modes,
flexible item selectability, auxiliary construction lines, ortho mode,
rectangular grid, drawing layers (up to 250), block creation, hatching
with automatic border detection, advanced dimensioning, surface texture
symbols, welding symbols, tolerance symbols, and more. Dimensions can be
in millimeters or inches.
BOM and Title Blocks
VariCAD provides tools for maintaining drawing databases, which
represent the data structure of the product. Databases can be created
manually (using data extraction from the assembly), or by loading a
file. There are constraints between data in part and assembly drawing
title blocks and the assembly database. You can build a bill of material
(BOM) from the database, then easily modify the database using commands
like mass attribute changes, sorting of information, etc.
The data structure of the product (BOM) can be exported into other
systems or into a spreadsheet. Automatic BOM and title block creation is
another one of VariCAD’s useful tools. A mask is used for
customization; if you create masks for BOM and title blocks, you can use
them until a change is necessary. The CAD system provides default masks
which can be adjusted to suit your needs.
VariCAD can interchange files with other CAD systems. You can export
STEP (3D), STL (3D), IGES (3D and 2D), DWG (2D), DXF (2D) files, and
import STEP (3D), DWG (2D), DXF (2D) and IGES (2D). The files can be
converted individually or in batch routines, thereby converting multiple
files in one step.
Printing and Plotting
Printing within VariCAD is highly customizable. You can use Windows
or KDE Linux printer drivers, or VariCAD built-in drivers. Postscript
printing is also available.